The Sikh Coalition has been monitoring the North Carolina review process since 2016. In January and April of 2020, we worked closely with members of the North Carolina sangat to submit public comments asking the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) social studies standards writing committee to 1) ensure that Sikhism was included in the content and examples in the existing list of world religions and 2) consider changing the structure of the standards to put all world religions, including Sikhism, explicitly in the standards and objectives. (While this second ask was not ultimately implemented, we have successfully established groundwork for future engagement).
We remain in close touch with the NCDPI and State Board of Education--most recently sending them a letter
at the start of this week--encouraging them to press forward with changes that reflect a focus on inclusivity and diversity as well as an honest examination of our nation’s experience with injustices, racism, and other discrimination. In the months ahead, we will continue working with the NCDPI to finalize the Sikh-specific material in the content and examples and to ensure that this material reaches teachers and students across the state; the new standards and these accompanying documents will be implemented later this year.
Thanks to more than 10 years of advocacy work, the Sikh Coalition has ensured that more than 48 percent of the nation’s public school students have access to accurate and appropriate information about Sikhism.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.